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Women and Repayment in Microfinance Image

Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

Women and Repayment in Microfinance

Women and Repayment in Microfinance

Summary

This paper analyzes gender-differences with respect to microfinance repayment-rates using a
large global dataset covering 350 Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in 70 countries. The
results indicate that more women clients is associated with lower portfolio-at-risk, lower
write-offs, and lower credit-loss provisions, ceteris paribus. These findings confirm common
believes that women in general are a better credit-risk for MFIs. Interaction effects reveal that
the effect is stronger for NGOs, individual-based lenders, ‘finance plus’-providers and
regulated MFIs. This indicates that two types of MFIs benefit more than others from
focussing on women: First, those MFIs that develop hands-on, women-friendly procedures
tailored to individual women’s need, and Second, those MFIs that apply coercive enforcement
methods to which women are more responsive.

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